A Belgian professional card is a required permit necessary if you aren’t a Belgian or Swiss national, or if you are a national from a country not included within the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland.
You are also required to have a Belgian professional card if you are setting up or would like to set up work as a self-employed professional within Belgian borders, this can be as an individual or as an agent of a company or client, with either a gratuitous or salaried obligation.
This serves the purpose of striking a balance between the interests presented by expatriates and foreign nationals who want to work for themselves as a professional who is self employed and the Belgian governments cultural, economic and social interests.
Belgian Professional Card: Criteria
There are three main criteria through which an individual is assessed for a Belgian professional card. The first is their right of residence. Should you not have the right of residence, you must then apply for the right at the relevant and closest Belgian embassy or diplomatic representation at precisely the same time as you apply for a Belgian professional card.
The second criteria set for a Belgian professional card is the compliance with the necessary regulatory obligations. In particular, the obligations surrounding professional activity. Finally, the relevance of your project in Belgium is taken into account. This involves looking at the response to the economic needs of the time, creation of jobs in that sector, the benefits for employers and companies in Belgium and new opportunities.
Belgian Professional Card: Where to Apply
An application for a Belgian Professional Card is made at either the Belgian diplomatic center or embassy (if you live out with Belgium currently) or an established and recognized center for enterprise. This center can be of your choosing should you obtain a valid ‘Model A’ registration certificate or a certificate for registration in full validity.
Should you be unable to apply in or from your country of residence then it can be arranged for you to attend a Belgian representation in another country or a further enterprise counter.
Belgian Professional Card: How to Apply
You should apply for a Belgian professional card through the use of two request forms. If you are currently living abroad when applying then you must use the ‘Application Form for the Belgian Professional Card for Foreigners’ (which should be submitted to the Belgian representation within your country).
If you hold a valid ‘Model A’ registration certificate then the form must be submitted to an enterprise counter of your choosing.
The form must be filled out in full with all required and requested documents being attached to the Belgian professional card application. A proof of payment of any tax due at the time of applying must also be included.
For more information on Working in Belgium or Contracting in Europe visit the Euro Accountancy & Finance Services website.